VP and Education Secretary Sara Duterte (left) and Sen. Imee Marcos (right). (Photo courtesy of the Kahimyang Project)

IN A SURPRISING TWIST in the political arena, Senator Imee Marcos openly chided her perceived “BFF’ (best friends forever) in Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte for keeping 433 security personnel ostensibly willing to take the bullet for the country’s second-highest official.

Senator Imee’s first shot at Inday Sara was not only surprising but also unexpected since the two “Alpha females” are publicly close, politically and personally.

In fact, VP Sara Duterte had revealed that it was Senator Imee Marcos who persuaded her to run for the second highest post in the country and not Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez who many believe was the one called “tambaloslos” by the feisty VPES (Vice President and Education Secretary) after she tendered her irrevocable resignation as a member of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party, which she ran under in 2022 polls.

“Ang tambaloslos kasi sa Bisaya pwede mo siyang i-interpret na joke and pwede mo rin siyang i-interpret na pagmumura, and pwede mo siyang i-interpret na pang iinsulto,” Inday Sara explained.

Romualdez, a first-degree cousin of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr., is the party president of the Lakas-CMD which has 71 members at the House of Representatives composed of 316 legislators and only one member at the Senate.

The gentleman from Leyte just ignored what some political analysts called an “unstatesmanlike” remark made by SWOH (Sara without an H).

Collins Dictionary defines unstatesmanlike as “not resembling or befitting a political leader whose wisdom, integrity, etc. win great respect.”

Of course, the House Speaker and Senator Imee are also first-degree cousins.

By the way, reliable sources said that Imee is actually gunning for the mayoral seat of Manila, the country’s capital.

That’s why Imee allegedly bought a one-hectare property in Sta. Mesa from former President and ex-Manila Mayor Erap Estrada to prepare for the 2025 mayoralty race in Manila.

If Imee wins as Manila mayor in 2025, this could be a big boost to her cousin Martin’s presidential ambition and may derail Sara’s march to Malacañang in 2028.

Apparently recognizing the immense popularity of Inday Sara who would be a shoo-in if presidential elections were held today, some political operators think that the issues of being abusive in power like having 433 “bodyguards” and the millions of pesos of so-called confidential funds could pull her down.

It can be recalled that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) justified Inday Sara’s creation of the VPSPG (Vice President Security and Protection Group (VPSPG) in June 2022.

The OVP said it is necessary to have a team independent from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) that will protect future vice presidents in case of political differences with the President.

The VPSPG “will inevitably perform even when the Vice President and the President face the misfortune of having a relationship strained or broken by political differences,” just like what had happened between former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and then Vice President Leni Robredo.

This early, signs of cracks in the UniTeam are showing with PBBM getting closer to PH’s old ally the United States in asserting the Philippine sovereignty versus China while Sara is ominously silent on Chinese bullying.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to discern that eventually, PBBM will endorse his cousin Martin Romualdez as the administration standard bearer for the 2028 presidential race.

As they say, blood is thicker than water.

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.